The Department of Conservation has spotted a rat on Mana Island.
The entire island is classified as a bird sanctuary and is about 3km off the coast of Wellington. It contains takahe, rare lizards, the North Island robin and shore plover.
DoC says the rat was spotted by a live motion sensor but it does not yet know if there are more.
It says a shore plover nest appears to have been raided, but it is not clear whether a rat or a natural predator, like a hawk, is to blame.